Monday, October 8, 2012

I'm hanging in there!

I know, I haven't posted since July!  Sorry to my readers!
I guess I could start by writing about what has been going on in the 'crazy house'! (mine)  I could go on and on about broken, filthy things or talk about how our dogs each plowed (at different times) through our newly gooed blacktop driveway... or how I deeply cut my hand 'helping' a stranger re-purpose an old glass frame, but that's boring.
What is special and noteworthy is how Darling Daughter is now  happy and settled in her first year of college! It was a family home run!  .....  and it is also appropriate to say that we are even happier than she is!   I know that sounds mean but to take just one layer of the chaos from this home, is monumental.  Everyone around here is calmer and everything is cleaner and I've already decided she may be interested in a summer program abroad.    I will probably be chewing my arm off to pay her tuition but it will be worth it.
For the big send off, I had been warned by everyone to be sure and bring a big box of tissues with me (really!)  I would look at them like -- 'I don't think so'... and sure to my previous statement, tissues were not needed!  Although,  I could have used a tissue from laughter when my mother (who was with me) dead-pan looked my way in the hallway with a side comment; 'Try to be strong'..... she then high-fived me!   Grammie always knows just what to say!  
After spending hours on 'load-in' .... boxes and boxes and suitcases of clothes for 12 people - her small dorm room was adequately 'stuffed'.  I said my 'good byes' and wished her
darling roommate well  :) , and proceeded to leave the enormous college campus.  While at my first red light, I took a quick glance at the floor of my car to find her wallet - yep, new student ID card, debit card and driver's license!   Will this end?  likely not ....  In fact, one of my first calls a few weeks later was how her wallet and now new room key ($75 replacement and $50 bus pass) was stolen from her purse when she left that behind somewhere.
She needs to re-read the needlepoint pillow that I made for her!  "Don't do anything STUPID"  ! please
So back to reality....she is sequestered in her dorm and I was left with an amazing mess in her room - my home.   I honestly needed a dumpster, but managed with huge trash bags.  I had not really entered this space for a few years so it was bad, bad.  

Note: an untouched photo
and now... post cleaning and fumigation, her old room has  become my own quiet respite.   Because I have gone mad from parenting…I even remodeled her miniature doll house.   The stored doll house looked as though it had been through Katrina…now it’s clean and kinda cute!
It’s one 'house' I can control. 
The International Laundress

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Danger: Distractions ..... DUH!

Like many Mom's I am working from home ... not only the usual home management things; repairs, laundry, cleaning 24/7 but also a real business.  For me, it's a plural word;.... Managing marketing and PR for a  consumer brand that is sold worldwide and also doing local detailed event productions (weddings, corporate etc).   Some days it's more than I can handle and it amplifies the extreme spectrum and contrast between how I function (ORGANIZED) vs. the rest of my family (ADHD).  When I am changing 'gears' between the various functions, I need to quickly get my brain into a place of extreme focus and that usually means getting away from the madness within the walls of this 'home'.  This is especially important when I am doing media interviews.     For that reason, I have found myself throwing candy out of a bathroom shower stall, vacuum sealing myself in a locked car  to standing  outside in snowy bushes to negotiate a contract away from dogs and kids.

I consider myself  highly experienced in the 'art' of impulsive interruptions (for years) so after thinking that I had 'warned' all home residents of a scheduled and planned LIVE 8 minute radio interview (est. audience 100,000) I felt confident I was 'covered' after sequestering myself in my bedroom.  But now looking back, I was doomed from the start.   

Darling Daughter has a knack for precision timing so when she burst through the door unannounced as I was mid-sentence during this interview it was like a targeted WMD that few could recover from.  My facial expression said it all as she continued on to my bathroom to rummage in her usual fashion for my things that she MUST have at THAT MOMENT.  Looking back, there was no hope here- if I had locked the door - the noise would have been considerably louder.  My job, as always is to forge on!   As I age though, I find losing my 'train-of-thought'
a bit problematic and it's not a place anyone wants to be as you are speaking 'on air' in a live interview..... heroically and heartstoppingly so, I managed but it became another hard lesson for me to LEAVE THE PREMISE. 

Nite Nite.... xo The International Laundress

Monday, June 4, 2012

The Never Ending 'Finish' Line... Darling Daughter Graduates from High School

A busy time for The International Laundress!  Need to make more time to write more regularly... sorry to my readers! :)

Like most Mom's this is a crazy time of the ending school, bringing home all the crap they have accumulated from the whole year----(I think I still have a black bag of last year's crap still in the garage) ...This year, I will be entering into a new phase of life, Darling Daughter is graduating from H.S. and boy, has this been an interesting 'journey' --- that is, getting her educated and through our school system - and to graduate with decent grades....A MIRACLE!   I honestly think I have a hangover since graduation... have been sleeping a lot too and I feel really achy. Hmmm?

I recall the first school meetings about Darling Daughter's 'behavior' unmedicated wild-child who had barely survived to age 7 (not to mention me) ....I would meet before a tribunal of administrators with stacks of folders to 'discuss' (err, I mean, rip my kid to shreds) .... I had stubbornly refused to medicate her until my dear friend (a doctor) bashed my head with a 2 x 4 :)  no, really, she had to take me aside to say 'the medication for an ADHD child..IS the 'diagnosis')   well, she was right and after even the first day...we saw a change in Darling Daughter that was comparable to a Divine intervention!  I thought the whole school was going to have a parade for us!  OMG ....those were the days... to go from 'paying attention' ZERO % of the time to .... (post-meds) .... 100% of the time was truly an amazing feat!   The 'tester' even thought they were observing the wrong child!   It was that day that defined my 'new' life with this child.... I had found a survival tool!  and with that, I became a born-again pill pusher when it comes to treating ADHD  !  It was that dramatic for us and for her !

As any Mother of a teenage daughter knows - these days in particular, are very tricky.... we are all in a secret club - desperately trying to keep our daughters whole and 'grounded' .....we're. battered and exhausted from this journey and there are days when I feel as though I have Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome from this parenting experience!    At least for my kid, she is now independent - stubbornly voices her opinion about all things and will no doubt be a successful adult..... but no getting around this...she has been HELL to raise to this point.   Need to go to bed (again)  it's been exhausting and I am worn out.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Vacation Value 'tip' :)

Hello to all my tired, frazzled stressed out readers....
Here's a worthwhile 'tip'.... 

If you are like me and never 'get away' from the madness of your life, I highly recommend that you find an older person who needs to return from Florida and drive them back through the Midwest to a Northern state like Michigan or Illinois.   The migration of 'Snowbirds' with Spring Break creates a convergence of traffic and crowds and that equals good value for a vacation!  A 5-day trip can feel like a month!   Campers,  swinging trailers, U-hauls, 3 wheeler motorcycles, semi-trucks along with long recreation vehicles give you the variety you need to make it an interesting trip!  'Remodeled' vehicles now look like full rooms have been added... an 'addition' on the back! (or a second floor on the top) !  American ingenuity at it's finest!

I recently returned from a 'month- long' journey to bring 'Grammie' and her little dog Sophie back to the North and the drive wasn't too bad.  We had left a treeless gulf in Florida ... (err I mean 'fabulous golf community') for the beautiful hills of Alabama, Tennessee and Kentucky which improved my disposition considerably.

Prior to that, I found myself in a community of 'Happy Seniors' ...Viagra-laced along with prescription meds, many who began drinking alcoholic beverages (only $1.75!) at their daily 'happy hour' ritual starting at 3:30 pm!  - to then find myself after-hours  (in the pitch dark) in a maze of 'fancy' golf carts that mingled with real grown-up cars just inches from real roads and that's not a good feeling. 
I was actually one of the unfortunate hostages  - (like an Amish person in a slow moving buggy)  trapped in a festive golf cart.  We were surrounded by low-seated driving geezers navigating  behind very big steering wheels  - honking and trying to be patient though the 'rush' of traffic! 

It was like a  bad dream   from 'Bedrock' when slow moving open sided vehicles  -meet- The REAL Cars and that's when I start to shake!  Can we all say "Yabba Dabba ....DON'T."  !!  I  don't mean to be a sissy here but I would much rather ride in a truck with my ADHD teenager driving and that's say'n something!

NOTE: Golf Carts are NOT Automobiles
 (or can they not see that!?)

This is not a 'real' Rolls Royce!

xo  :)
The International Laundress


Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Leap Day... Yippee!

On the edge for Leap Day....It's a fitting theme for me to write about today!   

I am still 'on the edge' about life..... a feeling that will probably never leave me.  My life is a big worry and has been since children entered the picture.  I know I'm not alone... but damn!

My dear friend braved my home this week for an overdue visit.  It was so great to see her and to have for once, stimulating conversation, something I have missed.   One topic we discussed was her interesting life as a world-traveler.  It seems she has accomplished something on her personal 'bucket list'.... Something I still can't seem get out of my head... My friend proudly announced that she was able to finally get extra pages in her passport!  

  Huh? .... What?

I can't even imagine such a lofty goal..... my revised 'bucket list' (thanks to my wild family and our wonderful economy) is to someday be able to;

READ A BOOK,....WATCH A MOVIE WITHOUT PASSING OUT..... get a BIKINI WAX or better yet....FILL MY SUV UP WITH GAS.  Other items to include on my revised 'bucket list' is SOCKS THAT MATCH,  another to STOP CHEWING MY FINGERNAILS and here's a good one.... to lose 18- year old 'baby fat' off my mid-section as a result of  9 lb. 14 oz. 'darling daughter.'

I know these are tough things... challenging goals, but I need to start somewhere, right? !

So in the meantime, I'll keep dreaming.  Happy Leap Day to all! :)
The International Laundress!


Saturday, February 25, 2012

Lollipop and her Feathered Friend Tutu!

To continue the theme from my last post of my 'new' soft head - I'm moving away from snarkiness and frustration! (well, at least for a moment)   I'm even thinking about reading books again and focusing on sleeping --   

I wanted to share with my readers a darling moment in time.  (and for those with short attention spans it's only 1 min. 52 seconds) ... really, you can do it!  and if you do... it will bring a smile to your face! 
Featured in the video is Lollipop our very 'sweet' Border Collie/Chow Chow dog and Tutu the most beautiful store- bought parakeet ever!  About 17 months ago Tutu came into our life and I never imaged that the two of them would become 'friends' but they have!  Our other dog, Emma could care less.

I now waste time whenever I can watching them interact.  When we first brought Tutu home she was really young....and not knowing any better, would hang her tail feathers out of the cage...  Lollipop always an opportunist,  very carefully pulled off her tail feathers and ever since then, they have been friends!  It is uncanny to watch!  enjoy! 

xo The International Laundress

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Attention Spans Gone Wild! In Need of Some Valentine Heart! (and HELP)

For some, this blog-posting is going to read like my brain has gone soft - Ok,… mushy .... perhaps it has.  I'm actually sounding sensitive - taking some time to be wise and intuitive  ... who knows what it is?! ... I'm kind of unclear myself, but it's my blog so I can say what I want, right? 

For the past 20 months I have been frustrated beyond belief with my day-job (now defined as my 24/7 ‘job’)   I never imagined after years of dealing with the inattentiveness of my darling children that I would find this to be the case in the business world today.

It seems in professional life, most people are suffering from major inattention problems ...It's like ADHD is now the new pandemic outbreak and it's EVERYWHERE!
Everyone has a flurry of things swirling around them .... emails, constant texting,  VM, responsibilities, endless pressure,  a continuous barrage of noise, interruptions .. etc.. etc.. it's no wonder that SLEEP has become America's new favorite past time.

To compound things, the working job market is so scary now that 'survival-mode' can also be added to the list. Life is now lived in dog-years. (woof, woof)  No time for anything! Presentations to get someone's attention  are now 140 characters with Twitter and a graphic 'presentation' is like flash-cards for kids. 

Can we say 'life rage' here!?  Basic manners; like just paying attention erode  kindness, compassion-- even old friendships have hit the skids for many.  'Help' for someone other than yourself has become an old fashioned verb.

For Public Relations activities like mine... ‘new useful material for content’  has been blurred with advertising investments to the source (because of our rotten economy) breaking the cardinal rule I've always known, of sacred credibility shhh....(it's  a dirty little secret).   Small entrepreneurial companies (with limited budgets)  which are the engine of our economy find themselves stuck in this quagmire.  So for me, a 'Marketing Professional'  I'm deep in this chasm along with attention spans gone wild, I very quickly compare  this to beating my head with a hammer on a daily basis.
Bloody and stubborn from years of experience with this problem  though my own kids, I continue to prevail -- another day --- just ONE MORE DAY thinking that a reporter or writer that I may have contacted will have the attention span (or common courtesy)  to answer my inquiry to then take action.   

I know how busy everyone is... SURPRISE....  I also fall into that category, but I can honestly say, I follow-up when someone writes me I answer them back (what a concept!) and I return phone messages.

In my situation, it's the people who have received free samples that really scar me the deepest ... Many of those,  who have CONTACTED me - to then not fulfill their obligation to write something about our brand – just anything! We'll even take a FB 'like'.  Here's another 'surprise' - although the world needs saving... I'm not a missionary for giving away product treats!... I honestly don't get that! Then, the nightmare process for me begins to follow up to be ignored ... and then repeatedly ignored ... some days I feel like I have 'email halitosis' and a bruised head!.... no manners, no heart it's the simple delete button... tsk, tsk.   What's up with that? 
If anyone in blog-land has any ideas … I am all ears - please connect with me!  I would be actually elated to hear from anyone about this subject! Am I alone?
.....   And for those who are contemplating starting a business… I recommend that you give my words (directly from the trenches of business) serious consideration.  It is extremely difficult to breakthrough the clutter of information and if you have a brand that needs exposure you will find this to be your biggest obstacle.  Then again, if you like banging your head with a hammer... go for it!   
So in the season of Valentine’s Day perhaps I can change the mind of just one person to give a pinky finger effort of a helping hand – just a teeny attempt in the 'manners department' to help people.  Try to actually take the time to read an email instead to hitting the quick delete button…or even more novel return a phone message. I'll bet there is someone in your world in need of some help.   You never know when you may need this person…and as most know, Karma can be a real bitch.  

Thanks to all my readers... lots of appreciated support!
The International Laundress